Past research has shown that child centred play therapy (Axline, 1947; Landreth, 2002) can be an effective and developmentally-informed approach to working with children who have experienced traumatic events (Hall, 2019; Schottelkorb, Doumas, & Garcia, 2012).
This practical workshop will describe three core play therapy strategies for adults helping children deal with behavioural, emotional and social effects of trauma. These three strategies will include:
- Following the child’s lead,
- Reflecting the child’s actions, and
- Facilitating decision-making and returning responsibility.
It will be argued that used in the context of dynamic assessment and programme delivery, these strategies can help children who have experienced traumatic events stay calm, regulated and ready to re-engage in learning experiences. Participants would engage in collaborative discussions based on video vignettes, skills practice, (otherwise known as role-play) and a variety of arts experiences to structure the content and stimulate group discussions, problem-solving and identify practices related to participants’ goals.
This workshop will appeal to a range of practitioners who want to enhance their knowledge of play-based intervention approaches as part of their ongoing professional development.
Presenter: Aleksandra Gosteva is a Registered Educational Psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists Board, a Full Member of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS), and a member of the NZPsS Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology.
Aleksandra is also a qualified and registered Play Therapist and Arts Therapist. Aleksandra has had over 17 years’ experience working with toddlers, children, parents and caregivers with a wide range of educational, developmental and emotional issues, including learning difficulties, Attention Deficit Disorder and a variety of complex developmental conditions and disabilities. For almost seven years, she has led the Child and Family Play Therapy Centre, a private psychology practice which specialises in supporting children and families through Play and Arts Therapy. She has also worked as a Psychologist for a large Multidisciplinary Early Intervention Centre.
Aleksandra frequently collaborates with education settings, agencies, and mental health organisations to help them deliver high quality play therapy programmes to support children’s psychological health and wellbeing.